Frances Loeb Library


Who may use the Frances Loeb Library?

  • Harvard ID holders
  • GSD alumni
  • individuals with Frances Loeb Library (FLL) Day Passes
  • Visiting Researchers
  • Those with Special Borrower cards

A valid Harvard ID or Special Borrower card must be presented when borrowing books. FLL Day Passes and Visiting Researcher cards do not include borrowing privileges.

GSD Alumni interested in borrowing privileges may apply for a Special Borrower card. Two types of Special Borrower cards are available:

  • Borrowing privileges at the Frances Loeb Library for one year: no cost
  • Borrowing privileges at the Frances Loeb Library AND borrowing privileges at the following libraries for one year: $200
    • Andover-Harvard Theological Library
    • Cabot Science Library
    • Loeb Music Library
    • Fine Arts Library
    • McKay Library
    • Harvard-Yenching Library
    • Tozzer Library
    • Widener Library
    • Wolbach Library

In addition, all Harvard Alumni have access to a number of online resources available through the Harvard Library. ( )

Use of the Library by those without a Harvard ID is restricted to individuals pursuing research in the design fields, and is at the discretion of the Library. The Frances Loeb Library (FLL) Day Pass allows patrons to use library materials on-site. Borrowing privileges are not included.  Visiting researchers may apply for the FLL Day Pass at the Service Desk. A photo ID is required for registration. The FLL Day Pass is valid for the day on which it is issued.

Visiting Researcher cards are available through the Harvard Library Privileges office in Widener Library. Visiting Researcher Cards are valid for a 3-month period. Borrowing privileges are not included.

Applications for Special Borrower Cards

All Special Borrower cards for the Francis Loeb Library are issued by the Harvard Library Privileges office located in Widener Library.

Individuals may purchase a Special Borrowers Card with borrowing privileges for the Frances Loeb Library for a fee of $250 per year, or $100 for four months.  The following documentation is required when purchasing a Frances Loeb Library Special Borrower card:

  • valid photo ID card AND a letter from the reference librarian of your university or public library stating that the specific library materials needed are not available elsewhere. A Special Borrower picture ID will be issued by the ID office. This card is nontransferable and valid only at the Frances Loeb Library in the Graduate School of Design.  Borrowing privileges at the Frances Loeb Library will not transfer to other Harvard libraries.  To borrow from other Harvard libraries, you will need to purchase privileges for those libraries.
  • Special borrowers do not have remote access to licensed electronic resources

To apply for a Faculty Research Assistant (proxy) card, fill out the Application for Research Assistant Library Borrower's Card  and ask your faculty sponsor to sign the form. Once completed bring it to the Harvard Library Privileges office in Widener Library.

MIT Reciprocal Borrowers should fill out the online form  You will then receive an email with instructions for how to get the Special Borrower card.

Other Harvard Libraries

The total holdings of all libraries at the university numbers over 12.5 million volumes. A map and guide to the major Harvard University libraries is available at the Loeb Library service desk.

Most Harvard libraries require a valid Harvard ID for admittance. For specific information on admittance, borrowing, hours, and services in specific Harvard libraries,


Patrons with Disabilities

The Frances Loeb Library is responsive to special needs of the physically disabled. Assistance accessing library collections on the lower level via the west lobby elevator can be arranged by contacting the service desk. A rest room is available on the lower level.




Responsibility of Library Users

Students, staff, faculty members, researchers, visitors, and other users of the library who fail to comply with library rules will be subject to revocation of library privileges, disciplinary action, and legal prosecution. In particular, the unauthorized removal from the library of any book, manuscript, microform, or other materials or property, or destruction, defacement or abuse of any library materials or other resources are matters of grave concern. All library users will be subject to the fines and penalties of the Graduate School of Design and of the University as well as the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts governing crimes against property. 

The University's libraries are for the use of authorized members of the University and scholarly community. Except when specifically authorized for use to a designated commercial user, the systematic exploitation of library resources, including its databases, for profit is prohibited. It is inappropriate for students and others to sell data, or to act as agents for those who do, or otherwise use their library privileges for purposes other than for their personal use. 

Library users should not leave personal belongings unattended while in the library. The library is not responsible for lost or missing items of personal value. 

Smoking, pets and cell phone use are not permitted in the library.

Frances Loeb Library: General Information: Access

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